Ontario and Toronto wish to attract new foreign workers, according to the principle of selected immigration.
Aïssatou Sonko works at the Ontario Economic Society (SÉO), a non-profit association that helps newcomers free of charge in their job search. According to the Frenchwoman, born in Senegal, with an unemployment rate around 7% in Ontario, all sectors of the labor market are affected by the labor shortage, particularly in the northern part of the province:
“In finance, we are looking for account managers, financial advisers, business advisers, but also managers or engineers. What also stands out a lot is the lack of nurses, so much so that even if it is a regulated profession, hospitals are still interested in accepting applications.”Aissatou Sonko
Especially since since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of telework has been massive in Canada and Ontario, resulting in many empty premises.
“IThere are a lot of businesses, especially in the city center, because of the cost, which have physically closed. What we will soon observe is perhaps the difficulty in ensuring the return to face-to-face. There are sectors like service and catering that are hard hit, a lot of restaurants have closed.”
Lhe field of personal support also suffers from chronic understaffing. It’s not much better in the catering trades, where chefs, bakers, butchers and charcutiers are recruited with a vengeance. Ontario also lacks welders, millwrights, drivers and farm workers.
“There is a desire from the province to increase the number of Francophones by 5% by 2025, details Aïssatou Sonko. To tell you how interested they are in recruiting French speakers, they even awarded 15 extra points for French speakers who wish to apply for permanent residency!”
Because in Ontario, access to permanent residence is facilitated, unlike in Quebec, which most French people choose as their first base in Canada. “Are there a lot of francophones who find themselves a bit stuck in terms of immigration to Quebec? and who suddenly turn to Ontario to increase their chances of accessing permanent residence.”
However, the need for immigrants to have work experience in Canada before they can apply in their field is a real headache for many. Last October, the Ontario government promised to legislate to allow newcomers, trained abroad in some 30 professions, to obtain a work certificate without having to acquire work experience in Canada.
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Find this chronicle on the international mobility website “Français à l’étranger.fr”